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Spotlight Interview

Guest Contributor:

Fatima Brunson, Ph.D.

Urban Education Postdoctoral Scholar

Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Chicago, in the Policy Studies in Urban Education Program. I am committed to expanding teachers capacity for equity oriented practices, which centers the mental health of educators in service to racially minoritized students.

What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?

Currently, I promote mental health through my education consulting business. I engage educators in critical inquiry around what it means to sustain equity oriented practices through self-care and reflection.

What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?

I am committed to justice in schools, while developing systems and cycles of inequity related to teachers collaborative practice in predominately racially minoritized schools.

What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?

Black mental wellness means creating and developing habits that help us heal from the generational curses brought on by the impact of slavery.

How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?

I promote change and wellbeing in the Black community within my personal and professional life. I engage my community by going to local events related to mental health and through my academic scholarship.


What are some upcoming events you are leading, that promote mental health and wellness, that you would like for our Black Mental Wellness audience to know about?

I am a member of the Justice Collective in the University of Pittsburgh's College of Education. We will be presenting a webinar on the mental of health of educators highlighting the implications for remote teaching and learning.

What can potential clients expect during an initial session? Follow up sessions?

Participants can expect to engage critical questions about how we all participate in maintaining the status quo and how we can disrupt current systems of oppression. Any follow up sessions will include strategies for asking equity oriented questions.

What wellness strategies do you think should be given more attention within the Black community? Are there any reasons why you think they are not given more attention?

I believe the Black community needs more information on how to engage generational trauma. It's not given more attention because it has not been clearly defined, and we do not know what these things look like in our everyday lives.

How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?

I meditate 4 times a week. I run three times a week. I make sure to engage journal writing as a daily practice.

What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?

1) Meditating 2) Running 3) Journal Writing 4) Yoga 5) Sauna

What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness?

Honestly, Instagram. I follow many accounts that prioritize positive messaging related to the intersectional experience.

Guest Contributor

Fatima Brunson is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. She studies antiracist teaching and culturally responsive school leadership practices. She is driven by the need to address the ever-present learning opportunity gap experienced by Black students.

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